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Factory Farming News: A New Spin on Ag Gag Bills

shh

The so-called Ag Gag bills in Florida and Minnesota failed to go through, but New York and Iowa are still looking at legislation to prevent investigative reporting in factory farming facilities.

Undercover reporting has exposed some pretty shocking animal cruelty in these facilities, and without these journalists and activists to advocate for them, the animals in factory farming operations would have no voice at all.

Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstad (R), has called such investigations supports the bill and calls undercover investigations β€œa problem that should be addressed,” but others in Iowa’s Republican party strongly oppose the bill. There’s been a huge public outcry, and hopefully this one won’t pass, either.

The New York bill, which targets investigations at factory farms and laboratories, is getting a little bit of a different spin. Proponents are calling it a food safety measure, but the bill itself is not much different from the ones in Florida, Minnesota, and Iowa. As Will Potter reports:

S5172 criminalizes undercover investigators and whistleblowers by targeting β€œaudio recording or photography done without the farm owner’s written consent.”

Covert investigations like a recent video from Mercy for Animals have revealed unbelievably cruel conditions in factory farming operations, and without these kinds of investigations, who would hold these businesses accountable?

What do you guys think about these bills? Do you favor keeping cameras and recording equipment out of farms and laboratories, or do you think this sort of reporting has its merits? Sound off in the comments!

Sources:
Green is the New Red
Food Freedom

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Christian V.

7 comments
  1. Becky

    If the farms and labs have nothing to hide, why are they so worried? I’m sure every business would like to just do as they please without anyone allowed in to watch, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

  2. Janet Weeks

    New York would like us to believe their proposed Ag-Gag bill is a “food safety measure.” If you believe that, well, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

  3. Evz

    Have you seen this?
    http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/new-york-bill-undercover-investigators-factory-farms/4918/
    Yeah, so, you know, it’s apparently just a measure to keep the food supply safe from meth addicts… Riiiiggghhhttt…(head explodes from BS overload!!!)

    I realize that the animal agribusiness industry has fair cause to scorn the intelligence of US consumers; we haven’t exactly covered ourselves in intellectual glory, so far, in our response to (ie continued mainstream support of) these assholes’ cruel/ unhealthy/ environmental-disaster-in-progress business model… but really now: WE’RE NOT *THAT* STUPID!!! (c’mon, USians: we’re not!… um… right?!)

    I am filing this whole issue under ‘Hating Them All’– but that file’s gettin’ pretty darn thick, so hopefully all these bad-joke ‘mandatory consumer ignorance’ bills will be defeated soundly and swiftly– befitting their status as transparent attempts to preserve blatantly cruel practices that only the ignorant would ever support, in homage to the god of shareholder profits…

    WHATEVER diet you follow, ‘no factory farmed animal anything’ is a good place to start, to demand an end to this kind of foolishness… Whatever you eat: there *is* a better way– and it begins with refusing to pay this industry to commit atrocities they’re scared to death you’ll find out about!

    Two favorite quotes, relevant here:
    “You get what you settle for.”– Thelma (or was it Louise? I can never keep it straight– but either way, the point stands!)

    and

    “Apathy is not your friend.”– Me

    Dear American society: guys, I love you and all, but c’mon… WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! Please don’t embarrass me, by falling for this shit. Thank you.

  4. Evz

    Oh (sheepish look!), that’s the same article you linked to: I thought it was a different source- oops, please excuse!

    (the rest of my diatribe, I stand by.)

    :-)

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